A Report from True Woman '12A Report from True Woman '12
Leslie Basham: Just over a week ago, many thousand women came together for a conference Revive Our Hearts hosted.
Bob Lepine (conf): Welcome to Indianapolis and True Woman 2012. Are you excited to be here?
Leslie: And as emcee Bob Lepine explained, women were willing to travel great distances for this important gathering.
Bob (conf): We have women here from forty-eight of the fifty United States. (applause) We have women here from seven provinces in Canada, eh. (applause) And we have women here, at least we know of five different countries beyond the United States and Canada. Welcome! (applause)
Leslie: This is Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss for Monday, October 1.
Today, we’ll hear highlights from the conference, and we’ll hear from some of the True Woman speakers. They’ll describe the work God did in their own hearts as they sought the Lord for personal revival.
Bob: We began the event first thing by asking all of the speakers who were going to be speaking in the main session to come up on the platform.
Leslie: Here’s emcee, Bob Lepine.
Bob (conf): I don’t know if folks are aware of this, but a lot of times you’ll go to a conference and the speaker flies in, does his message or her message, and then flies out. And one of the things we wanted to say to these women is that these speakers got here at the beginning and stayed till the end just because they’re not just coming to do their speech, they’re coming to hear from the Lord just like everybody else. They’re here to seek Him just like the women are here to seek Him.
Leslie: This is speaker, Janet Parshall.
Janet Parshall: I’ve told so many of the women on our speaker team that I come not just thinking that the Lord has given me a message that I have to share, but I come ready, Bible in hand, pen ready to take notes, because I am anxious to hear what God has told them and in turn will be teaching me.
Priscilla Shirer: I love the women on the platform at the True Woman conference.
Leslie: Here’s speaker Priscilla Shirer.
Priscilla: I love that there are women who have such a strong legacy of faith. And when I say legacy, I don’t even necessarily mean their parents and grandparents. I mean, they may have a godly legacy generationally. But I just mean personally. These are people who are faithful in their own walks. So you’ve got Janet Parshall and Joni Tada and so many others who have been serving the Lord so faithfully for so long. And when you listen to them from the platform, their messages speak of a life that has been lived in a passionate relationship with Jesus Christ over time.
Bob: But these folks were not just the hired guns who had been brought in to deliver their message and then move on. But these were women who were here to seek God right alongside of them.
Priscilla: They are not different women on the platform than they are when we are in just the green room having some coffee before we go up. These women are like, for real. I think I am a little bit younger than most of the other ladies that are on the platform, and for a younger woman to see that true ministry is not just what you look like when people are watching, but it is especially who you are when nobody is watching. Ministry is just supposed to be an outpouring of what is happening in our private lives day in and day out.
So I am so grateful to be surrounded by women like Nancy who have walked the journey a little bit longer than I have. Joni Tada, Miss Janet, so many others who have done this a little longer than I and to see that it is possible to be sustained in ministry by the Holy Spirit’s power. It’s possible to be faithful to ministry, and it is possible to be a woman of integrity in ministry.
Bob (conf): This is going to be good! This is going to be exciting! I can’t wait to hear what she is going to say, and she’s going to say, and what he is going to do. I think that was a part of the excitement.
Joni Eareckson Tada: When I look out at those faces, nearly 9,000 women, oh my goodness. I’m thinking that these are the women who are influencers of our society.
Leslie: Here’s speaker Joni Eareckson Tada.
Joni: These are women who through their decisions, whether with their husbands, with their children, in their homes, their communities, in their churches, these people, these women can be great influencers for good. They can help shape the destiny not only of their families and their churches and their communities, but the destiny of this nation. These women are change agents for the gospel of Jesus Christ. And that I get a chance to encourage them? That’s pretty cool!
Janet: When you look out at a crowd of over 8,000 women, the need for Jesus is almost palpable. You see how many people come with broken hearts. Nancy received all sorts of emails ahead of time so we knew that people were coming with broken hearts.
Nancy Leigh DeMoss (conf): There’s a woman here who lost her husband suddenly, just two weeks ago. She thought God wanted her to be here to seek the Lord. She’s hurting.
Juli Slattery: I am just aware of how much pain . . .
Leslie: This is workshop leader Juli Slattery.
Juli: If you just looked on the row that you were sitting on and you could see behind the smiles and see behind the presentation that people come with, there is so much pain.
Nancy (conf): There’s another woman here who buried a five-month-old grandson on Tuesday afternoon—two days ago—left early yesterday morning, traveled all day so that she could get here from northern California to seek the Lord.
Juli: How many of those women have been through difficult marriages or divorce? How many of them are longing for intimacy? Research shows us that at least one in every three women have a history of childhood sexual abuse. If you just take that, not to mention depression and anxiety, women are coming with deep pain and huge burdens to bring before the Lord. And so they’re not just here just to hear the Word of God in their head, they are praying and hoping that it infiltrates down to their heart and that they experience Jesus as the healer of those wounds.
Nancy (conf): These women are hurting, but they’re not letting adversity turn them away from the Lord. They are letting it push them to seek Him in the midst of their pain.
Juli: Nancy set such a spirit of seeking God from the very beginning. I’ve been at a lot of conferences, had opportunity to speak at a lot of conferences where God works and God moves. But this was unique in that Nancy just creates this wide open space for the Holy Spirit to come, for us to worship from the bottom of our hearts, and for us to hear the Lord. The way she is just so humble and kneels before the throne of grace and asks us to do the same thing just created the right spirit for the whole conference.
Nancy (conf): There was an old-time revivalist whose name was Gipsy Smith. Perhaps you’ve heard of him. The story is told that Gipsy Smith would go to a town to preach—he was an itinerant preacher. He would come to the town where he had been invited, and he would come to the outskirts of the town. He would stand and draw a circle in the ground, in the dirt on the outskirts of town. Then he would step inside that circle, and he would begin to pray for God to move in that town. He would say, “Lord, please send revival to this community. But, oh God, let the revival start inside this circle. Let it begin in me.”
Holly Elliff: I loved that during the conference around the auditorium and in various places there were circles.
Leslie: Here’s workshop leader Holly Elliff.
Holly: And those circles were symbolic because they represented the fact that every woman wanted to put herself there, draw a circle around her own life and say, “God, what do You want to do in me?”
Nancy (conf): And as you pass by those in the days ahead, I want to encourage you, if there is room, to just step inside one of those circles.
Bill Elliff (conf): And those circles just remind us that it’s always personal.
Leslie: This is Pastor Bill Elliff.
Bill (conf): We can get real theoretical about revival and awakening. But it starts with me. And if it doesn’t start with me, if it doesn’t start with you, then it doesn’t start.
Leslie Bennett: I can’t live on yesterday’s revival.
Leslie: This is workshop leader Leslie Bennett.
Leslie Bennett: The white chalk circles all around this conference center were a constant reminder that I need revival. Every moment of every day I must humble myself before God and ask Him to come into my heart to do what only He can do as I seek Him and I’m repentant before Him—that He will make my heart afresh. He will make my heart anew and fan the flames of my heart for Jesus. I so appreciated that reminder as we went about the conference all weekend long. Revival starts with me.
Nancy (conf): Your face, Lord, I will seek.
Leslie: Not with anybody else. It’s not them. It’s me.
Nancy (conf): It’s not my brother, not my sister, not my mother, not my pastor, not my friend who came with me. It’s me, oh, Lord, standing in the need of You.
Bob (conf): One of the unique things about the way the stage is set up this year is that the speaker’s podium, the platform podium, there’s a large white circle around it.
Nancy (conf): Because seeking Him starts right here in our hearts as we’re speaking.
Bob (conf): And so as we’re calling women to seek God and to seek Him for revival in their own lives and then in their churches and then in our nation, we’ve drawn a circle around the podium.
Joni: Because all the speakers had an opportunity to stand in it. And of course, I had an opportunity to wheel inside that circle. May revival begin with me.
Juli: I’m preaching to myself first. I’m the first one who needs the very messages coming out of my mouth.
Bob (conf): You can’t go and call women to a place if you’re not ready to go there yourself. That’s hypocrisy.
Joni: May renewal in the church begin with me inside that circle.
Nancy (conf): And to step inside that circle and say, “Lord, would You send revival to my family? Would You send revival to my church? Would You send awakening to our nation, to our world? We desperately need it. But oh, Lord, would You start the revival inside this circle? Let it begin in me.
Janet: So let me tell you what happened for me as a speaker when I stepped into that circle. I was under very strong conviction. David said, “My sins are ever before me.” That’s what I felt when I was in that circle. I thought, “Lord, I’m not here to teach these women. I’m here to seek Your face.”
Janet (conf): The point here is Jesus. He’s defying convention. He’s moving deeper into the life of a woman who had some pretty dark secrets, and she’s more thirsty than she can even imagine or knows herself. So Jesus responds. And He says, “Everyone who drinks this water [referring to the well] will be thirsty again. But whoever drinks from the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” What a message! What a Teacher!
Janet: And standing in this circle I am very aware of my own sins. And what I want more than anything is to walk away from this experience saying, “Lord, I’ve had a wash, rinse, and spin cycle. My sins have been blotted out. I have a fresh start and a new beginning, and I want to seek Him as Nancy was teaching us. Not once every five years but moment by moment every single day. That’s the only way I can keep my ledger short. That’s the only way I can constantly say “Lord, if there’s going to be revival, I want it so desperately to begin with me. Revive my heart. Change me, Lord. Let me be aware of what You’ve done in my life.”
Janet (conf): We think we’re clever or effective in hiding guilt and shame, but in truth, we are all very, very thirsty. We’re thirsty physically, so we use food, alcohol to try to comfort us only to leave us hungry for more. We’re thirsty emotionally—we try relationship after relationship after relationship only to be left parched. And we hunger spiritually, and so we use everything from Oprah to Buddhism to ritualism to try to fill a gap that only He can fill.
Leslie Bennett: What I noticed from the moment that I got here is that the women were thirsty. They came to the waters. They were wanting a drink, and God filled us. He gave us not just a sip, but we were drinking out of that fire hydrant of His living waters.
Janet (conf): I want us to let our parched lips be quenched by the living waters that He affords us. And what you saw was a response to thirst.
Nancy (conf): As you come in a repentant heart, know that then God wants to use you to be an instrument of giving life to others who desperately need living water, too. Come. Come.
Janet (conf): Thirsty people when they are waiting for that drink aren’t going to say, “Well, when I get around to it—when I get the time, then maybe I’ll come back for a drink. When you’re thirsty and someone goes, “Here” and they hold out a cup of living water, you run. And that’s what those women did. They ran to their knees. Because what they were saying was, “Lord, I thirst, and I want to be fully satisfied by You. To be present in a moment like that is about as close to heaven as you can get this side of glory. It was a very powerful moment.
Priscilla (conf): I hope that this weekend you did not just bring your cup. I hope you brought your cup and your saucer because He’s filling us up to overflowing today, isn’t He? And let me tell you something, if there is any overflow—I don’t know about you guys, but I want to catch all of it. Anybody with me?
When Jesus showed up, a crowd was always around.
Juli: I think my highlight from Friday was hearing Priscilla. And during the conference while she was speaking, it was pouring rain.
Joni: A Niagara Falls of rain crashed down on the roof of the Indianapolis Convention Center. It was thunderous. And at the same moment, this women did not skip a beat.
Priscilla (conf): Send the rain, Lord Jesus. Send the rain.
Joni: She was thunderously pouring out the Word of God.
Priscilla (conf): And so Jesus had the crowd of people and the passage says, “They are pressing in around Him.”
Joni: A flooding out in a stream of encouragement to us all.
Priscilla (conf): They are not casual in their conversations. They are not casual as they are trying to get near Him. These are folks like the woman with the issue of blood. She’s trying to get as close as she possibly can.
Joni: And I got goose bumps as I listened to her.
Priscilla (conf): And with all of these people, all of their needs, all of their concerns, all of the difficulties, all of the needs that they brought with them, I love that verse two says to us that with all of this chaos going on all around Him, He saw one fisherman who had had a bad night fishing.
Juli: And I just felt as she was speaking that God was pouring through her into the spirits of everyone listening.
Priscilla (conf): No matter how big the crowd gets. No matter how loud the rain falls.
Joni: There shall be "showers of blessing."
Priscilla (conf): No matter how much chaos is going on all around you, you need to know that He sees you; that He cares about you; that the details of your life are not lost on Him.
Joni: And I prayed even as she spoke above the roar, “Oh, God, bring us all showers of blessing. May revival begin here with True Woman ’12.”
Priscilla (conf): Let it fall in here, Lord. Let it fall in here.
Kristyn Getty: Being asked to serve at this conference, I think, for me, is just kind of startling, that they would want me to participate. I was sharing the platform with Joni Tada.
Joni (conf): (singing) Amazing grace how sweet the sound.
Kristyn: And I just kind of had a little emotional moment. Because I am looking at Joni Eareckson Tada and I remember being twelve years old and my mother and father giving me a copy of her movie that was based on her life and her very first book about the accident and about all that had transpired in her life afterwards.
Here I was today, actually sharing not just a conference with her, but the same thread that the Lord was going to do in this evening session—a woman that I have known since I was ten years old—known her story. For her to have affected me so much in my young life and then here I am now serving alongside of her? That was just a big moment for me. I don’t think I’ll ever forget it.
Joni and Kristyn (conf): (singing) Through many dangers, toils, and snares, I have already come.
Joni: It was so wonderful to be able to come to True Woman ’12. I missed in ’08. I missed again in ’10, once because I was bedridden with chronic pain issues and had great difficulty even just sitting up in a wheelchair. The second time, just a couple of months before True Woman, I was diagnosed with stage three breast cancer. So now I’m here, and I just can’t believe it. It’s just so wonderful to be with Nancy and the entire team and especially with women from all across the United States who love the Lord Jesus and want repentance and revival and renewal to come to our country.
And so to wheel up on stage and begin singing serendipitously “Amazing Grace” and to have Kristyn walk up and join me, oh, it was such a powerful moment for me personally.
Hymns are important to me because I have to sing. If I don’t sing, I might cry. Being a quadriplegic for forty-five years and dealing with chronic pain and cancer and being in my sixties with other aches and pains and issues, I choose to sing. I have to sing. And I’m glad to sing. Because when I wake up in the morning and start singing, “Savior Like a Shepherd Lead Us,” I mean, I’m already being led. I’m already setting the course of my attitude for the day.
For me, singing is a way of praying without ceasing. When God puts a melody in my heart in the morning, the words to go with it, and I’m humming it or singing it along the day, it’s a way of praying without ceasing, morning, noon, and night. And I am so grateful for the songs God puts on my heart.
Joni and Kristyn (conf): (singing) Was blind but now I see.
Holly: When Jennifer, our oldest daughter, realized that Joni was going to be at the conference, she just started weeping. And she said, “Mom, I remember as a little girl listening to Joni Eareckson’s music.” I think it was a cassette back then. “And all the things that she taught me as I listened to that over and over.” I think they went to sleep listening to that sometimes.
And she said, “She has been a tremendous influence in my life.” And today she got to go and hear Joni speak in the breakout session and just cried all the way through it. So it’s a blessing to see women who have been used of God to speak into my life but also now into the lives of our children.
Joni (conf): Father, forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. In other words, Father, feel free to deal with me the same way You see me dealing with others. Feel free to treat me as You see me treating others. Be merciful to me. Be full of grace. Have compassion because I am merciful. I am full of grace. I have compassion, and I pity those who have offended me.” Friend, that’s our calling. Right there is our calling.
Janet (conf): Seeking Him together. I like that word together.
Nancy (conf): I want us all to pray for moms or grandmoms who have prodigals sons or daughters.
Joni: None of us who has a renegade is standing alone. None of us can make it on our own.
Kristyn: I saw that together part in a way that you often don't see. The whole team really made a dedicated effort to bathe this conference in prayer.
Priscilla (conf): Lord Jesus, I thank You right now that You have made these women with tender hearts for those children that You have given them. And so, Lord, I pray right now in the matchless name of Jesus Christ, that You would arrest the heart of every son, of every daughter, of every daughter-in-law . . .
Joni: I want to be able to look over my shoulder to the left and right and see other women standing alongside of me.
Nancy (conf): If you are a pastor's wife or if your husband serves in vocational ministry of some sort, would you just stand? We want to thank the Lord for you. We want to pray for you.
Joni: We need each other, especially those of us on the front lines of kingdom advancement.
Rebecca Lutzer (conf): And Father, I do pray for these precious women who stand beside the men of God that You’ve called to open the Word of God and to teach us and break the bread week after week.
Priscilla: Very rarely do you find a conference setting where there are so many women gathered. Maybe at a smaller setting of fifty or one hundred women you see this more frequently. But when you number in the thousands, you rarely see so much time set aside for specific, strategic prayer.
Nancy (conf): I want to ask all our teenage girls and mothers of teenagers to stand . . .
Priscilla: Together, we are literally grabbing hands and we are saying, "Lord, come, revive our marriages, revive our children, revive our own hearts, revive our nation. Rarely do you see time actually scheduled for this.
Dannah Gresh (conf): And Father, my heart is especially bent towards those young women who confessed to areas of impurity . . .
Priscilla: Very rarely do you say all 8,000 of us, we are getting ready to pray; we're going to do it all together. You're not even going to go to the bathroom or get some coffee. You're going to pray, too, because is even, if not more, important, equally important as worship time, equally as important as listening to that speaker you came to hear; it's seeking the face of God.
Mary Kassian (conf): Oh Lord Jesus, I pray that You will pour out Your Spirit, a spirit of repentance, a spirit of humility, a spirit of brokenness, and a spirit, Lord, that cries out and seeks You until You come.
Janet: To know that people are watching from around the world is such a reminder that it is really the whole truth, the whole gospel, to the whole world.
Bob (conf): Sixty-five countries was the latest count I heard that engaged in the live stream [editor's note: total was eighty-five countries].
Joni: And as I watched carefully what countries were being represented. I was so encouraged to see that some of these women are living in countries where the world is leading out of control, yet there are lights for the gospel. There are women who are standing strong for the good news of Jesus Christ in those dark places.
I'm so grateful that the True Woman movement is not confined to the borders of the United States of America.
Bob (conf): I think there are about seventy women here from the Dominican Republic. They've been at True Woman back in '08; they came to True Woman '10, and they are here again at True Woman '12. God is doing a work among these women.
I remember a tweet that came in during this year's conference from a woman in Nigeria. "I so wanted to be at True Woman '12, but I am seeking God where I am."
I thought, "Who knows what could happen in Nigeria because of a faithful woman who is seeking God, who could take the message back to a small group of women and say, 'Here's what I heard.'"
Janet: Whether it is Nigeria or the Dominican Republic or it happens to be in Indianapolis, we were gathered together under the banner of Jesus Christ.
Leslie Bennett: They came thirsty. They came to the waters. They came hungry asking for food. We came with empty hands and God filled us. He gave us not just a sip, but we were drinking out of that fire hydrant of His living waters.
His Word says that He will satisfy the hungry with good things. Those good things were poured into us at True Woman '12. God was in this place, and we are leaving changed women.
Leslie: The team at Revive Our Hearts is so thankful for all God did at True Woman ’12. Thanks to all who prayed for the conference and helped make it possible. You can hear messages from the conference, see backstage interviews and blog posts about the conference at our website. Look for the link at ReviveOurHearts.com.
Tomorrow, we will begin hearing one of the messages from True Woman '12. Nancy Leigh DeMoss will explain what it means to seek the Lord together for spiritual awakening. Please be back, for Revive Our Hearts.
Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss is an outreach of Life Action Ministries.
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